Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on
Tuesday, 2nd December 2008:
Mukhriz has committed the offence of
sedition in questioning one of the four “sensitive” issues entrenched in
the Constitution which has no parliamentary immunity – and he can be
disqualified as MP on conviction
UMNO MP for Jerlun and candidate for Umno
Youth chief, Mukhriz Mahathir has committed the offence of sedition in
questioning one of the four “sensitive” issues entrenched in the
Constitution which has no parliamentary immunity and on conviction, he
can be stripped of his parliamentary membership, disqualified from
taking part in parliamentary and state assembly elections as well as
barred from holding office in any society for five years.
However Mukhriz twist and turn, there can be no doubt that in his press
conference at the Parliament lobby yesterday which he repeated in his
speech in the House last night, he was in fact calling for the closure
of Chinese and Tamil primary schools, hence the following headlines:
• “Sekolah satu sistem – cadangan ke arah
menggantikan pe3ndidikan berbeza aliran” – Utusan Malaysia
• “Mukhriz: Scrap vernacular schools, one
system for all” (Star online).
• “”Abolish dual system” (Star in print).
• “Mukhriz: Close down vernacular schools” (Malaysiakini
• “Mukhriz saran tutup sekolah vernacular” (Malaysiakini
• “Mukhriz says vernacular schools should be
• “Change all school medium to Bahasa
Malaysia” – Nanyang
• “Abolish Chinese and Tamil primary schools
to check polarisation – Mukhriz” – (China Press)
• “Standardise all primary schools with
Bahasa Malaysia as medium of instruction” – (Oriental Daily)
My purpose now is not to discuss the merit or
demerit of Mukhriz proposal for a single education system, the validity
of his contention blaming the vernacular school system for the polarised
society which allegedly caused the poor understanding of the “ketuanan
Melayu” or Malay supremacy concept among the non-Malays and his view
that the disunity in Malaysia arose from the different education system.
The Constitution Amendment 1971 entrenching four sensitive issues and
imposing an absolute prohibition from any questioning, even removing the
parliamentary immunity in parliamentary debates, by classifying them as
sedition offences under Section 3(f) of the Sedition Act, does not allow
anyone to propose the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools so
long as Article 10(4) on the entrenchment of the sensitive issues is not
If Mukhriz wants to be able to publicly pursue his proposal of a single
education system resulting in the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary
schools, he must get the Constitutional provision on the four entrenched
sensitive issues amended and repealed.
Similarly, no one can question the special provision for Malays and
natives in Sabah and Sarawak in Article 153 such as asking for its
repeal on the ground that the Reid Commission had originally proposed a
15-year sunset clause unless the 1971 entrenched sensitive provision in
the Constitution is amended or repealed.
The same applies to the other sensitive issues – the sovereignty of
Malay Rulers and citizenship rights of non-Malay Malaysians.
The law is very clear as there had been decided cases – Melan Abdullah v
Public Prosecutor (1971) where Utusan Malaysia was found guilty of the
sedition offence for its editorial subheading, “Hapuskan Sekolah
Beraliran Tamil atau China di-Negeri ini” and Mark Koding v. Public
Prosecutor where the Sabah Member of Parliament was found guilty of
sedition when he spoke in Parliament in October 1978 calling for the
closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
As it is, anybody can lodge a police report against Mukhriz, and if
there is a rule of law with independent and impartial administration of
justice, Mukhriz would be charged and found guilty of sedition, stripped
of his parliamentary membership as well as disqualified from taking part
in parliamentary elections or holding office in any ociety for five
years if fined RM2,000 or jailed for a year.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor